Case managers are tasked with keeping track of a client’s medical information so that their care team can access the most up-to-date information at all times. In the past, this looked like file folders stuffed with paperwork that were copied and passed among medical personnel while maintaining strict confidentiality. Care teams were smaller and case managers had fewer points of contact.
As the scope of a client’s care grew and Medicaid services continued to expand, case managers have become responsible for gathering, organizing, and documenting their clients’ test results, assessment scores, and medical histories from a range of medical doctors, psychologists, physical therapists, and other professionals to create a complete picture of their clients’ conditions.
Luckily, technology has proven to be the perfect solution for the ever-growing problem of managing comprehensive case plans. Today, a client’s information can be stored in a secure network, where the entire care team has access to the most up-to-date information regarding their client’s treatment plan. This allows everyone to be on the same page at all times and provides a secure place for collaboration and communication to occur.
The Benefits of Technology in Case Management
A case manager is charged with keeping a team of professionals informed at all times about their client’s treatment plan, goals, and medical records. This includes communication to physicians, insurance companies, home health companies, and more. By using technology, the entire process is streamlined, making it easy for everyone on the care team to access their client’s information, add data, and communicate with one another. This greatly improves efficiency and productivity among team members since everything they need is in the client’s file online, and it can be updated at the click of a mouse.
By having a client’s medical information in one secure place online, it’s much easier for medical professionals to communicate and collaborate regarding their care. New test results and procedures are updated in real-time, and data is easy to access and discuss. This provides team members with a complete picture of their client’s condition and allows them to discuss the best treatment strategies across the board.
Different Types of Technology in Case Management
There are many different types of technology that case managers use to advocate for their clients.
Case Management Software
Case management software makes streamlining information much easier. A case manager can quickly access a client’s file, enter new information, and review data at the click of a mouse. They’re also able to seamlessly share data with colleagues who are also on the case, follow up, and track changes as they’re made in the client’s file.
This makes it easier to coordinate care among providers and organizations that are a part of the client’s care team so the client can receive the most holistic treatment.
Data Analytics Tools
Data analytics tools allow case managers, clients, and care providers to quickly access, modify, and contribute to a client’s file. Some examples of important client data include:
- Electronic health records
- Client portals
- Master client indexes
- Online health-related apps
Most importantly, data analytics tools provide the security that’s necessary when handling medical records that are protected by HIPAA.
Communication platforms are crucial to providing holistic care. By using modern communication tools, case managers can facilitate meetings, collaborate with the medical team, and advise team members about the client’s current needs and goals. This method is much more productive and efficient than earlier practices that involved missed calls, voice messages and handwritten notes. Today, a case manager can utilize technology to schedule video conferences and communicate quickly with other care team members.
Implementing Technology in Case Management
Technology plays a crucial role in case management, but it must be used effectively to offer any benefits. A case manager should consider their specific needs and choose technology that will cater to them. This can be accomplished by setting clear objectives and selecting technology solutions that meet those needs.
Most importantly, new staff members need to be trained effectively. Technology and software training should be a part of the onboarding process so everyone knows how to use it effectively.
Overcoming Common Challenges
Technology offers so many advantages to the field of case management, but there may be challenges to overcome. In many industries, some staff members may resist change — especially when they don’t understand the new processes. Training opportunities can greatly encourage them to jump on board.
When exploring new technology for your case managers, it’s important to consider data security and privacy concerns. Client data and medical records are confidential, and it’s crucial to take the highest security measures in order to protect their information.
When used effectively, technology can greatly improve the field of case management. Streamlining workflows will ensure that you’re maximizing efficiency and getting the most out of your software. Technology will need to be updated regularly to ensure that you’re using the most up-to-date software to benefit your clients.
As your team continues to use technology in case management, it’s important to measure and record ROI. That way, you can easily determine whether you’re getting the most out of your new systems.
Future Trends in Case Management Technology
The future of case management is bright, and that’s greatly due to advancements in technology. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) improves, it is expected to take over tedious tasks like scheduling, invoicing, and reporting, and cloud-based solutions will provide streamlined processes for scheduling and tracking a client’s care.
Mobile applications have entered the medical world, and they’re greatly improving communication and scheduling services for clients and their care teams. Thanks to newly developed apps, clients and their case managers will be able to track test results and schedule meetings and appointments with doctors, therapists, and other care providers.
Technology has improved the efficiency and quality of case management, and it continues to get better each day. Although it may feel like uncharted territory, technology is here to stay, and that’s a very good thing. Case managers and care teams are encouraged to dive in, learn about technology in case management, and be willing to try new methods for providing client care. In many cases, technology greatly reduces a case manager’s workload, and most importantly, helps them to better care for their clients. For more information about case management and how PASCO collaborates with case managers to provide quality care, contact us today.